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Friday, February 24, 2017
Montreal Symphony Orchestra Inspires with Brahms and Goes Beyond
An exciting program of stellar
February 22, 8.pm
The excitement was palpable as people piled into the stunning Maison
M. Pouliot enthralled us with his performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s
“Violin Concerto in D major, op.35.” His sensitivity was magical. His
virtuosity was most notable throughout the piece where 3 movements brought
moods of sentimental sweetness and sadness where high-note diminuendos showed
exceptional control that wowed us. These moments mixed tenderly with robust
melodic passages that seemed to foreshadow the exhilarating finish. It was pure
genius. His exuberance brought new meaning to the word “vivace” – part of the
Although the program opened with “Plages” – a piece by Serge Gallant –
this daring composition stood in a striking contrast to Korngold’s gentle music
meant for Holly movies. Gallant’s work vividly suggested a Hitchcock horror
film or a Magritte surreal painting with its minimalist images. The 12-minute composition was interesting and
dramatic; crescendos, ethereal moments and ominous moods steeped in
instrumental dissonance made “Plages” a poignant piece of alarming music.
The final wondrous work, Brahms’s “Symphony no. 1 in C minor, op. 68”
comprised four main movements – the last offering 4 contrasting parts that
built from and Adagio to and Allegro con
brio. This complex piece that opens with a percussive boom in repetition
journeys into a woven series of melodic developments that switch keys. One part
gracefully repeated a melody suggestive of Beethoven. Lyrical in line, and
profound, the culminating trumpet call at the end surely gave the work its
well-deserved standing ovation that capped the entire evening’s triumphant
photo credit: Nancy
Responsible for leading the orchestra into a passionate display of
musical brilliance was Vasily Petrenko. Is it any wonder, the title of the concert
was Brahms According to Vasily Petrenko!